Re: Alspaugh | Letter

Melissa Alspaugh’s recent letter [posted on a local news website] concerning the upcoming Friday Harbor Port Commission election was pretty distressing in that it consists almost entirely of misinformation. (Where have we seen this kind of campaigning before?)

I attended most of the port commission meetings she references. She alleges that “the arrogance and sense of entitlement” exhibited by the commissioners, particularly Barbara Marrett, “were almost palpable.” There was plenty of that behavior on display in those meetings but it came entirely and exclusively from a handful of people in the audience. The commissioners, including Barbara Marrett, remained calm and polite throughout the meetings.

Alspaugh also asserts that talks concerning the possible acquisition of Jensen’s Shipyard have been “going on in secret by the commissioners.” That is simply false. When Commissioner Ahrenius resigned in public session he explicitly stated he was doing so to allow the commission to consider the purchase of Jensen’s. The remaining commissioners subsequently discussed in public session taking some initial steps to determine if such a purchase would make good business sense. They are taking prudent, fiscally responsible first steps in exploring a possible purchase. Nothing is going on in secret.

I have known Barbara Marrett for many years and have worked with her on a few projects. I know her to be a smart, savvy woman who is dedicated to being a thoughtful public servant and a sound manager of the public’s money. What’s being waged against her is a classic smear campaign launched by a handful of angry people. Please don’t fall for it. Vote for Barbara Marrett, the candidate who actually cares about protecting the public interest.

And, for what it’s worth, Alspaugh is definitely not a registered voter in San Juan County and, as best I’ve been able to determine, she does not reside in the state of Washington.

Richard Grout

San Juan Island